Howard County Executive Ken Ulman was more than 100 miles away from home, but he still managed to host a fundraiser Thursday with more than 100 people in attendance.
A few of the attendees at the Ocean City event, held at Hooper’s Crab House, were supporters from Howard, but many were from other parts of the state.
This is at least the third year Ulman has hosted a crab feast fundraiser in Ocean City, held in time with the annual Maryland Association of Counties summer conference.
Thursday’s event, however, drew more people than last year’s, according to Rachael Rice, president of Rice Consulting, the firm heading Ulman’s campaign efforts.
“It’s really obvious to me how much more Ken’s profile has grown,” Rice said.
Ulman has not announced but is widely known to be considering a run for governor in 2014.
Normally, when Ulman addresses crowds he talks about Howard County and rattles off reasons why he believes it is one of the best counties in the state and the country.
Thursday, in brief remarks to the crowd at his fundraiser, he talked about Maryland being a great state and his desire to make it better.
“We’ve got to start working together (to show) that we’re the place starting to create the jobs of the future,” Ulman said.
He added: “I’m tired of hearing about Delaware. I’m tired of hearing about Virginia.”
Asked later about the fundraiser, Ulman noted he was “thrilled” with the turnout.
“It’s a great opportunity to kind of celebrate with our friends from around the state,” he said.
Ulman was not the only gubernatorial hopeful celebrating with people from around the state.
Three other elected officials who are also considered potential gubernatorial candidates — Lt. Gov Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Comptroller Peter Franchot — all planned fundraisers in conjunction with the MACo conference, held Aug. 15 to Aug. 18.
Asked about the other events, Ulman said: “I wish them all well.”
Further probed about the competition, Ulman noted he is focused on making sure his events are successful.
“I really don’t focus on thinking a lot about what other people are doing,” he said.
Many of the people who attended the fundraiser have known Ulman for years. But Trudy Anderson, chairwoman of the Wicomico County Democratic Central Committee, was meeting him for the first time.
“In the political circle we’ve been hearing his name quite a bit,” Anderson said, noting the mentions of Ulman have all been positive things.
Anderson said the central committee was not endorsing Ulman or any candidate at this time. Asked about Ulman’s potential competition, she was hesitant to comment, noting, “I don’t know that anyone’s openly declared like he has.”